September 3, 2015 | Press Releases

TUMOxAGBU Partnership Brings the TUMO Program to Stepanakert

The new center offers a free afterschool learning environment to youth in the region

September 2, 2015, Republic Day in Nagorno-Karabakh, saw a peak of excitement with the inauguration of a new center for learning, creativity and technology in the capital of Stepanakert. The Simonian Educational Foundation and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) joined forces to bring to the region the program of the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in the framework of the recently established TUMOxAGBU partnership.

The president of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Bako Sahakyan, and the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, were present at the opening, marking this significant occasion with Sam Simonian, President of Simonian Education Foundation; Joseph Oughourlian and Vasken Yacoubian, members of the AGBU Central Board; Marie Lou Papazian, Director of TUMO; and Ralph Yirikian, General Manager of Karabakh Telecom.

Student registration will begin on September 14 and orientation sessions for students and parents will take place on September 16, 19, 21, and 23. Students will embark on their TUMO adventure on October 5 as doors open to hundreds of 12-18 year olds from throughout the city and neighboring areas. It is expected that the new Stepanakert center will be welcoming 500 to 1,000 students, who will study with seasoned professionals and experts in animation, filmmaking, web development and game development, and in complementary fields, such as 3D modeling, computer programming, music, photography and graphic design.

The operational and startup costs for the center will be covered by AGBU through the generous contributions of founding supporters Avedis and Arsho Baghsarian, Joseph and Jenny Oughourlian, and Victor Zarougian and Judith Saryan. The government of Nagorno-Karabakh provided space in a historic building in the heart of the city for the new center. The renovation of this space was made possible by a donation from Karabakh Telecom.

The TUMO Center for Creative Technologies ( is a free of charge afterschool program that teaches young Armenians the skills they need to succeed in the modern, digital world. The first TUMO center was opened in Yerevan in 2011, with a subsequent center opening in Dilijan in 2013 in partnership with the Central Bank of Armenia. The TUMOxAGBU partnership already opened a center in Gyumri earlier this year with goal of bringing TUMO to more locations throughout Armenia.

For further information, contact Zara Budaghyan, head of TUMO communications at or +37477332821 or Vartan Tsulikian, head of AGBU communications at or +37491435376. To learn more about supporting the Stepanakert or Gyumri centers, contact Karen Papazian, director of AGBU outreach and development at +12123196383.

Established in 1906, AGBU ( is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.

For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit

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